23 Apr 14
This weekend the 16th Man takes to the seas and skies as the Red Army #InvadeMarseille for the Heineken Cup semi-final. Here's your guide to what's going on and how to get around Marseille.
"I didn't find Munster, who make up half the Irish team, very impressive," Vivalda told Midi Olympique. "They weren't really exceptional. They didn't try to play the game." said the 21 year old playing in only his 10th game for the Catalans, who concluded, "At times I had the impression I was playing against an academy team."
"The guy's entitled to his opinion," was McGahan's response to Vivalda's assertion and it's certain Munster wont concern themselves with factors outside their control as they approach this game according to Alan Quinlan. " Nothing changes from last week really. We'll concentrate on ourselves. On what we have to do. Our own performance. It may sound cliched but that's the way it has to be." he says.
"We saw them at first hand last weekend. They're a very good side," he continues. "But that didn't come as a surprise to us. We knew that when the Pools were announced. We knew these back-to-backs would be crucial and our aim was to be travelling out there still in control of our own destiny. We've managed that. We know what we need to know about them so now for us it's a question of focussing on us, on our performance."
A lot was made in the media of Munster's end game and those close in line-outs that Munster opted for instead of a kick at goal and their preceived failure to snatch a try. "The decison there was more not to give them back possession, " Quinlan says. "We'd just seen what they could do with that Burger try. If we'd gone for the penalty, they'd have the restart and anything could happen. Why take the chance ?"
The Munster squad fly out from Shannon Airport tomorrow morning.
Munster: P Warwick; D Howlett, K Earls, L Mafi, D Hurley; R O'Gara, T O'Leary; W du Preez, D Fogarty, J Hayes; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell capt; A Quinlan, D Wallace, D Leamy. Replacements: D Varley, D Hurley, T Buckley, M O'Driscoll, D Ryan, N Ronan, P Stringer, J de Villiers.